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West Coast Wild: Three Unique, Remote Hikes in California

first_img America’s Oldest City Has a Super-Modern Dining and Drinking Scene Editors’ Recommendations Nevada’s Massacre Rim Named Latest International Dark Sky Sanctuary California’s seemingly endless summer makes for awesome year-round hiking, but we’re partial to fall for the slightly cooler weather and thinner crowds which make for great solo hikes. There are plenty of great spots to disappear far off-grid across the Golden State. These are three of the best remote hikes in California.Find the Bridge to NowhereIn 1929, construction began near Azusa, California, to connect the town of Wrightwood with the San Gabriel Valley. Among the many bridges required to wind the road through the valley was a unique arch bridge built in 1936. The bridge was among the first to see completion, long before the rest of the route. Unfortunately, a massive rainstorm washed away much of the road before it was finished and the project was subsequently abandoned. Yet, the arched bridge remained — a bridge that connected … nothing. Hence the name: Bridge to Nowhere. It’s one of California’s unique, architectural oddities. Getting to the bridge requires a 10-mile round-trip trek along the San Gabriel River. The hike is moderately challenging, although numerous river crossings mean you’re unlikely to stay dry along the way. The final approach through a high-walled canyon known as the Narrows is the journey’s most dramatic stretch. It is here that hikers will find the Bridge to Nowhere in all its civil engineering glory.Good to know: The Bridge to Nowhere is the base of operations for Bungee America, one of California’s only commercial bungee-jumping outfits.Explore the Lost CoastCalifornia’s coastline — particularly the 650-mile stretch that follows State Route 1 — is among the most beautiful, scenic road trips in the U.S. The northern end of the road terminates at its juncture with U.S. Route 101. But, as wise backpackers know, the coast continues for many miles north along what has rightly become known as the “Lost Coast.” The rugged region is the Golden State’s least developed stretch of shoreline. There are no major roads in or out, meaning it’s only accessible on foot. The hike between the Mattole River and Black Sands Beach (near Shelter Cove) requires about three days. Adventurers experience a disparate landscape of untouched forest, beaches, tidal pools, and the peaks of the King Range reaching 4,000 feet high above the Pacific Ocean.Good to know: This is a one-way hike, so be sure to arrange proper transportation at the opposite end of your trek. The area’s tides are also notoriously extreme, so bring a tidal chart, lest you get stranded in a flooded cove. And never turn your back on the ocean. Paddle through Ancient WetlandsThe 6,000-acre Ahjumawi Lava Springs State Park is arguably California’s least-visited state park due to the fact that it’s only accessible by boat. However, the lack of other park-goers and the massive amount of watershed activity make it one of the state’s most worthwhile treks. The name Ahjumawi means “where the waters come together” among the region’s Pit River Native Americans. It’s no surprise when you consider the park is at the confluence of five major watersheds. Outdoor-loving travelers will find no shortage of flora and fauna to seek and photograph here. Whether hiking or kayaking, you’re likely to have the trails and waterways all to yourself. Overnight camping is available with no advanced reservations required.Good to know: No gear of your own? No problem. Several local outfitters provide rental services for kayaks and racks, as well as half- and full-day tours. The Quietest and Loneliest Roads in America This Coastal Airstream Road Trip Has Us California Day Dreamin’ Nevada’s Train to Nowhere Promises Out-of-This-World Stargazinglast_img read more

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BC First Nation sets out tougher rules for mining in its territory

WILLIAMS LAKE, B.C. – A group of First Nations from Williams Lake, B.C., whose territory includes the area devastated by the Mount Polley tailings pond breach has created a detailed mining policy that will apply to existing, proposed and future projects in its territory.Northern Shuswap Tribal Council mining co-ordinator Jacinda Mack said Monday the policy is not meant to thwart mining in the area, but seeks to ensure the industry is sustainable, environmentally safe and has the support of First Nations.The 54-page document was developed with the help of experts when the Xat’sull, formerly the Soda Creek First Nation, commissioned the project last year.The plan was launched before the Mount Polley disaster last August when millions of litres of mine water and waste gushed over the landscape near Likely, B.C., and shut down operations at the Imperial Metals open pit, copper and gold mine.“This policy isn’t about shutting down mining,” said Mack. “It’s basically saying we have four operational mines in our territory, and how are we going to deal with them in a way that makes them safer, more accountable and more engaged with us.”She said the policy is tougher than current mining regulations in B.C. It does not override provincial laws but the group says it will serve as indigenous law for anyone doing mining business in more than five-million hectares of its traditional First Nations territory.Under the aboriginal policy, mining companies can no longer stake a mineral claim on territory without attempting meaningful consultation with the First Nations, Mack said.Companies will be held to a polluter pays principle to cover any operational damages and clean-up costs, she said. Environmental stewardship of the area, including potential impacts decades into the future, will be considered before the First Nations support the developments.“It’s having to come to us with a clear understanding up front of what we want rather than kind of going through government,” said Mack. “This is saying we are a level of government in our territory and you need to speak to us as well, and our standards are higher and our level of scrutiny is beyond current mining legislation in B.C.”Xat’sull First Nation Chief Bev Sellars said in a statement the document will serve as a rule book for companies wanting to do mining business in the Northern Shuswap territories.“With this mining policy we can no longer be ignored or imposed upon, and the province and industry can no longer claim they do not know how to work with us — this document spells that out in clear, specific terms,” said Sellars in her statement.B.C.’s Energy and Mines Ministry said in a statement it is reviewing the Northern Shuswap’s mining policy document.“The province is committed to working with First Nations so they can benefit from economic activity in their traditional territories,” said ministry spokesman David Haslam in a statement.“Over the past four years, the province and First Nations have signed more than 200 agreements, including strategic engagement agreements; reconciliation agreements; economic and community development agreements; forestry agreements and clean-energy project revenue-sharing agreements.”— By Dirk Meissner in Victoria AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email by The Canadian Press Posted Dec 1, 2014 1:28 pm MDT B.C. First Nation sets out tougher rules for mining in its territory read more